All she said was, "Where do you want to eat lunch?" Arlene and I had met earlier that morning and had decided to get something to eat on our way to feed the ducks and geese at a local park. Now, this may be a perfectly simple question for YOU to answer, but for me making choices has always been a laborious task. So I sat there in silence, hoping she would say what her preference was and thus spare me from having to make a decision.
Much to my dismay, she repeated the question and then turned to look at me, waiting for my reply. Yikes! Why didn't she just decide? After all, this was her idea, and we were in her car, so shouldn't the choice be hers? My brain was frantically flipping through its private Rolodex for my favorite places to eat, but there were too many variables to consider: menus, prices, location, and perfection. Yeah, you heard it right! Perfection! If I could just have a little more time to think this through and consider all the options, I was sure I would make the best (perfect) decision.
She was looking at me now as if she was peering over the top of her half-reading glasses. “You can do this, you know,” she said, picking up on my discomfort. “It's not the easiest thing for a frontal right to do because we like options, but you can do it.” I didn’t say anything. “When I have a decision to make,” Arlene continued, “I create a pros and cons list. Let me demonstrate with our decision at hand.” Then she began to ask me simple questions about my favorite places to eat:
“What do you like about that place?”
“What do you order when you eat there?”
“What are the prices?”
“What are you most hungry for right now?”
"Well, this one has fresh carrot juice but that one has wonderful salads,” I said bravely.
"Yes!" Arlene replied. "You’re getting it! Making decisions can actually be quite fun.” As we began to verbalize our likes and dislikes we created a mental list of pros and cons. One by one we narrowed the choices down—and it soon became very clear where we would eat. And the winner of the day ended up being the perfect place!
The process of making lists is not new to me. I have made lists and more lists, but would soon lose interest and then lose the list! They were the wrong kind of lists. They contained too much detail and were very unrealistic. Being Frontal Right, my concept of time is very similar to time in Never-Never Land! Time never runs out! In reality, when time did run out, I would chastise myself for planning poorly and for failing to accomplish the task and another chunk of my self-esteem would slip away.
I attended The Brain Program in 1998 and 1999, and returned in 2000 for the first Alumni seminar. As a result, my life has taken a fantastic leap in the right direction. Because of Arlene Taylor's gift for teaching on brain function and innate giftedness, and Lorna Lawrence's insight and counseling in Family-of-Origin Work, I’m learning to honor who I am: a kinesthetic, introverted, frontal right female who is madly in love with life. I am on my own personal growth journey and am flying high. No longer just surviving, I am thriving!